Mr Hayward’s Donkey

Have you ever wondered why donkey rides seem particularly scarce in Whitby? Although we do have our donkey rides they don’t seem to be as popular as they are in Blackpool, or even the Saltburn. According to an old legend, the reason for donkey rides not being as popular in Whitby is due to fear more than anything else.

Years ago when the only route from Whitby to Sandsend was via the beach Mr Hayward article-0-0c3a7db400000578-545_468x524had a way to make money, with his wife he set up donkey rides to transport goods and people from Whitby to Sandsend.

Mr Hayward was an elderly man, who, like most man of that time, spent most of his hours drinking, it made him weak and unable to chase away the mean children that would torment him and throw rocks at his donkeys. That was until one day, Mr Hayward didn’t show up on his usual route.

The children waited to torment him, they were evil to the poor old man and were getting more agitated the more time that went by where Mr Hayward didn’t show up. A donkey did though, a mangy looking thing with scruffy black hair and dirty yellow teeth, it stood and grinned widely at the children. They threw their rocks at the donkey, shouted at it and tried running at it but it never budged, then one of the children jumped onto it. Then another, then another, until all of the children were on top of this donkey – who seemed to have grown a 20ft back!

The last of the children that was ever seen was a man walking along the beach, he saw the donkey run into the sea with all the children as they screamed in horror at their fate.

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